UK businesses at risk of losing their workforce due to signal black spots

Arqiva study finds one in four Brits would move jobs as a result of poor office mobile signal

As today’s workforces become increasingly reliant on their mobile devices, a quarter (25 per cent) of British office workers say they would consider moving jobs (or have already moved) due to a lack of mobile coverage in their building. That’s according to new research from UK communications infrastructure company Arqiva, which highlights the worrying extent of the UK’s struggle for adequate indoor mobile coverage and its potential impact to businesses in the future.

The survey, conducted among 1,000 UK office workers, reveals that as many as one in two (49 per cent) respondents experience poor mobile coverage (i.e. dropped calls or a lack of signal) within their office building. Of those, almost three quarters (72 per cent) say this is an occurrence that happens every week, and a quarter (25 per cent) say it is something they face daily.

John Lillistone, head of products for Telecoms at Arqiva, says, ‘With 43 per cent of those we asked saying that poor mobile coverage does or would significantly impact their ability to do their job, and a quarter (26 per cent) claiming it already causes them extreme levels of stress and frustration, indoor coverage is clearly not an issue that companies can afford to ignore.

‘Looking to the future, younger ‘mobile first’ workers appear particularly intolerant of the growing problem – amongst generations X and Y the willingness to leave their job over poor coverage rose to over a third (35 per cent).’

With the strength of mobile signal impacted by a variety of different factors, responsibility can be hard to assign. When respondents were asked who they think is accountable for mobile coverage issues, the vast majority (90 per cent) cited their mobile network, however responsibility was also distributed amongst a number of other parties including the device itself (70 per cent), the IT manager (42 per cent) and the building designer (41 per cent). In the line-up of potential suspects, a few even picked out the weather, the government and their local council.

Lillistone continues, ‘In actual fact, it is usually the building itself that’s the root cause of poor indoor mobile coverage – you’d be surprised by the extent to which modern building materials, such as insulation and double glazing, can hamper signal.

‘Given all this, it is little wonder there is so much confusion among users – indoor mobile coverage is a complicated issue which no one party can solve on its own. Networks, architects, builders and employers all have a part to play and as the UK battles to become a leader of the 5G connected world, it is vital for them all to work together to understand their role in finding a solution for current indoor coverage woes.’

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